STUART McCall will cut numbers to run a leaner, meaner City squad next season.

McCall intends to whittle it right down as he begins planning for the next wave of recruitment in the summer.

The Bantams have used 39 different players this term – and the manager admits there are too many to choose from.

READ MORE: City boss opens recruitment talks

McCall said: “We’re definitely looking at less players. We’ve got to reduce the quantity and hopefully improve the quality.

“You have a budget set and, going back to my Motherwell days, it served us well for three and a half to four years.

“The only time it comes to bite is maybe if you haven’t got a couple of good young ones in your youth team that can step up.

“Also, mainly if you get hit with injuries and that happened to me at Motherwell in the last season.

“But it was better going that way and not having so many disappointed players who are not going to get a look-in.

“You just want a hungry bunch of maybe 20. It’s a balancing act but obviously the more limited the numbers the more you can give to players that you desperately want at your club.”

McCall is already drawing up his strategy for the next transfer window with chief executive Julian Rhodes.

He believes that running a more streamlined squad also ensures there are not too many left on the sidelines, running the risk of that disappointment seeping into the dressing room.

“Being a player for a while, all you want from your manager is honesty and that’s what they’ll get from me,” he added.

“That’s where your man-management is important.

“Sometimes you’ve got to tell people, ‘this is how it is’. A lot of lads are okay with it if they know where they stand.

“Then they’ll want to know what they have to do to become part of your plans. That’s a discussion we have.”

McCall also plans to utilise the loan market like before when his team that reached the League One play-off final in 2017 included Josh Cullen and Jordy Hiwula.

He said: “If you get a year-long loanee, it’s the same as having your own player.

“People say they don’t have the same commitment to your club. But it’s been pointed out in the past, that’s nonsense.

“It’s no different to somebody signing a contract for a year.

“Looking back to my previous period, obviously Josh had already been here. People knew him and his character and knew what a good player he was.

“I brought in Jordy from Huddersfield. He was someone I’d tracked for a long time from when I was at Motherwell.

“I spoke to people down there and I knew people at Man City and talked about his character.

“Again, you’ve got to do your due diligence and homework on players and it worked out well.”

McCall had hoped to run the rule over the likes of Jamie Devitt, who is yet to feature for him, in a behind-closed-doors game at Huddersfield’s training ground yesterday. But that was called off because of the weather.